June 6, 2008

Professor Lee Upton’s Latest Book Receives National Recognition

Undid in the Land of Undone is the recipient of the silver medal for poetry in the ForeWord Independent Book of the Year Awards

By Elizabeth Hall ’10

The latest book by Lee Upton, professor of English and writer in residence, has been awarded the silver medal for poetry in ForeWord Magazine’s Independent Book of the Year Awards. Undid in the Land of Undone is Upton’s 10th book and fifth volume of poetry. The awards were announced May 30.

The book reflects on the importance and happiness achieved by setting goals but also the inevitability of failure. Upton gathered inspiration from a number of sources including the works of Shakespeare, mythological characters and creatures, and plagues. She frames and illustrates many of the book’s poetic subjects from these sources.

ForeWord reviewer Camille-Yvette Welsch writes, “In Upton’s fifth book of poetry, she returns to tableaus in history, both mythical and actual. She pictures Emily Dickinson with blossoms in her hands, Dido standing before the burning pyre at Carthage; even lines from Shakespeare become fodder for a rich imagining of scene. The poems move between ancient settings and modern metaphorical language, high seriousness and humor. The list of creative euphemisms continues with dizzying fecundity, each more biting than the last.”

The Book of the Year Awards were established to bring increased attention to librarians and booksellers of the literary and graphic achievements of independent publishers and their authors. ForeWord is the only review trade journal devoted exclusively to books from independent houses. The honors were awarded based on editorial excellence, professional production, originality of the narrative, author credentials relative to the book, and the value the book adds to its genre.

Upton is also the recipient of a National Poetry Series Award, a Pushcart Prize, and was twice the winner of the Georgia Contemporary Poetry Series Award. She has also received the Lyric Poetry Award and The Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America.

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